There are many more conductors than orchestras and bands in Canada. Young conductors may start out by working with community and youth orchestras, as repetiteurs for opera ensembles or in staff, rehearsal or conductor-in-residence positions.
Conductors may work with:
- elementary, junior and senior high school groups
- university and college groups
- community groups
- small professional ensembles (jazz and dance bands, chamber orchestras, wind ensembles)
- musical theatre orchestras
- symphony orchestras.
School band or orchestra conductors may be expected to teach music classes as well as direct the school band or orchestra.
Conductors may gain recognition and visibility by:
- attending conductor training workshops
- working with soloists who are impressed with a conductor's performance
- working with composers of new works
- winning awards at national and international competitions
- obtaining study grants and scholarships to study abroad
- guest conducting with other orchestras or bands
- adjudicating at festivals
- presenting at conferences.
Many conductors must work in other music related areas to make a living while they study and gain experience. This may include performing, teaching, composing or arranging.
Orchestra and band conductors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5132: Conductors, Composers and Arrangers. In Alberta, 89% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
- location in Alberta
- employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
- size of the occupation.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.